Baseball Question of the Day: Who was your first favorite player?

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I’ve been doing the Today in Baseball History post each morning and will continue to do that at least as long as baseball is gone. Heck, I may continue it after baseball comes back. It takes a lot of time to put together, but it’s fun and, I’m gathering, it’s hipping people to a lot of weird old baseball stuff about which they had no idea. That’s nice.

I want to start a new daily feature now. One that has the opposite aim: you all telling me stuff. What you like. What you hate. Your favorites. Your least-favorites. Who you think was better. Who you think was overrated. Basically, I want to ask a baseball question every day that we can all weigh-in on in the comments. If you’re able to, grab a beer and pretend we’re arguing about it all in a bar.

I’ll start with a prompt — and maybe my opinion — each day. If you want to answer, hey, great. If not, that’s fine. If some answers are particularly good or well thought-out I might share them in a post of its own, the way I used to do “Comment of the Day” way back in 2010 or whenever that was. My God, we’ve been coming here a long time, haven’t we?

Anyway, here’s the first one: Who was your first favorite player, and why?

I’ve answered that one a million times but, in case you somehow missed it, the answer is Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame shortstop Alan Trammell. The reason: he was the first ballplayer who I saw do something cool in person.

While I am a Braves fan today, I lived in Michigan until I was 11 and came to baseball while watching the Ralph Houk/Sparky Anderson Tigers of the 1970s-80s. I was lucky and had a great uncle with season tickets. He sold cars and boats in Detroit and I sorta feel he was crooked and got a lot of favors for it, but we’ll leave that for now. Either way, he was nice to my brother and me and so, even though my parents didn’t give a rip about sports of any kind, we went to a lot of Tigers games.

My parents tell me the first one I ever went to was on the Fourth of July, 1978, on a family trip with the great aunt and great uncle. I would’ve not quite been five yet, and I don’t remember a thing about it.

The first one I remember was June 17, 1979, when the Tigers faced off against the California Angels. I didn’t remember the date off the top of my head, but I know (a) it was a Sunday; (b) it was against the Angels; and (c) Trammell hit a home run that day, so it was pretty easy to figure out what day it was when I went to look it up a few years back. Either way, Trammell¬† instantly became my hero.¬† If Champ Summers or Aurelio Rodriguez had homered maybe it would’ve been them, but it was Trammell. That’s just how it works for a little kid.

Anyway, for whatever reason it ended up being, I idolized Trammell from then on. I kinda still do. Being a kid is like that. Being a fan is like this.

How about you?